Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 3

Hard to believe we are already 3 weeks into the Biggest Winner competition as part of the Corporate Challenge here in Las Vegas.  I started this competition at 435 lbs and my weight this morning is 423.2.  That's a total loss of 11.8  and a weekly change of -.5 lbs.

I've been doing well on my eating staying within my calorie goals this week, but have gone a bit overboard on the sodium on  couple of occasions.  I should know better because for the next day or two I feel swollen and bloated until I can wash the excess away.

Got on the Univega this morning to try and keep up with my riding, but that proved problematic.  The first thing I noticed was that it took more work to go the same distance compared to the diamondback.  I was OK with that, it just meant I was working harder and actually felt like I was burning more calories.  But then about the 5.5 mile mark I heard a noise from my rear wheel.  I looked down and saw a wobble and knew exactly what had happened - another broken spoke!

I am definitely not a happy camper!  Its not like I was riding over rough terrain or bounding over rocks and roots on some trail.  I was riding on nice smooth asphalt!  In fact I was actually coasting at the time.  All of a sudden it feels like my bikes are betraying me.

I need to get them attended too sooner rather than later as I have upcoming events I need to train for.  I'm taking the Diamondback wheel over to Pro Cyclery today at lunch to have the spoke replaced so I can at least get back on the road for a bit until I figure out a better solution.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Broken spokes

I decided today, that despite the cooler temps (only in the mid 40's) and the stronger wind (10 to 20 mph with higher gusts) that I still needed to get out and ride.  So I did just that.  It didn't start out too bad despite not having my cycling gloves.  Shortly after hitting Blue Diamond road a cyclist passed me (without so much as a 'Hi' or 'on your left' by the way) and it enticed me to pick up the pace for a bit to try and stay with him.

The wind was a bit of a combination crosswind/tailwind and I was feeling pretty good, but never really warmed up.  I never found a decent rhythm either and within a quarter mile or so realized that trying to give chase wasn't the best of ideas.

I slowed back to my 'normal' (slow) pace and I was making progress but it was slower going than I would have thought it should be.  I had expended more energy than I thought and I ended up resting a few miles from home.

Shortly after my rest another cyclist passed me and I ended up sliding off the pavement into the gravel.  I didn't go do or anything but it made me think that today wasn't a good day to ride.  I decided to just keep going as I wanted to do at least 15 miles today.  Once I hit Highway 159 and made the turn, I stopped for another quick rest to catch my breath.  I decided that getting to the Gypsum mine was my goal for the day.

30 yards later that plan changed when I heard a noise and looked down to my by rim to see a wobble.  At least one of my spokes had broken.

I quickly decided that was enough for the day, but not wanting to call for a pick up, I decided to just nurse the bike home on the downhill leg of the ride.  The wobble meant the rear brakes were rubbing and keeping my speed in check anyway, so I more or less coasted home.

Total distance was only 9.25 miles and total time was 1:01.  9 mph average.

I'm really starting to think these 700 c wheels on the Diamondback are not for me right now.  Maybe after I lose 100 lbs, but they just don't seem to stand up to the stress currently.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Biggest Winner week 2

Hard to believe but another week has gone by already.  2 down and 8 to go.  The good news is there has been progress made.  The bad news is that its not as much as I had hoped it would be.  I knew it was going to be a tough week after the big loss week 1, but I had hoped for more.  Right now I am at 423.7 lbs which is only 1.3 lbs. less than last week, but still 11.3 overall in the competition.

One good thing about this week are that I was within my calorie goal 6 out of 7 days.  A second is that I got in 3 out of the planned 4 rides over the week including a 10.4 mile ride this morning.  I know I'm doing the right things and the scale should follow.

Last week, as a team we lost 2.37% of our initial weight which puts us well on our way towards our team goal of 10% in 10 weeks.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cycle touring

The open road, no set schedule, seeing the country at a slow pace, meeting people and learning their stories - these are all the things I think about when I think about touring by bicycle.  Reading others' journals of their journeys across the country, even across continents makes me want to get out on two wheels and see what its all about.

Of course at this point I am in no position to do some of the epic rides I've read about. Between work and family commitments and the fact that my longest ride in the last 30 years has been a mere 22 miles, the likelihood of my touring is very low.  At least for the near future.  I think that will change, though.

My plan is to build up to longer rides and tours.  I would love to be doing multi-day rides by the end of the year.  I know it won't be as tough or as much of an accomplishment as what Bill Saint-Onge has done and plans on doing this year, but it will still be great!  the journals on Crazy Guy On A Bike (CGOAB) are so inspiring!

I would love to take weekend or even week long "tours" using my home as a starting and ending point.  Maybe do a ride from home, up to Reno or LA and back just to do it.  Lots of thought and planning has to be done before I start my touring career, though.  Not only do I have to get myself in shape physically, but i know I will need a trusty steed to ride and I don't have faith in my Diamondback for any real distance.

I would love to find a sturdy, dependable steel framed bike with beefy tires and strong wheels, able to haul 500 or 600 lbs and with a decent gearing.  Oh and all of this for under $500.  What do you think - is there such a beast out there?  If not, there might be a business idea!

Keep riding!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biggest Winner week 1

Here we are already one week into the biggest winner challenge.  Only 9 more to go.  The good news is I was pretty clean and on target with my eating over the last week.  The really good news is that I weigned in at 425 lbs yesterday which means I've lost 10 lbs. or 2.29% of my starting body weight.  Definitely on track to hit my goal of losing 10% over the course of this challenge.

The better news is I quit making excuses and got my butt out of bed this morning at 4:00 am and rode 8 miles.  Its been a long time since I actually rode before work.  It was a bit cooler than I had anticipated at 52 degrees, but I enjoyed it.  Was it a struggle - you bet!  Will I do it again - Yep.  I will be back out there at 4:00 tomorrow morning.

Even though I struggled I still was able to maintain a 12.4 mph average speed.  Looking back to a year ago, I was only able to go 6 miles and average 12.1.  So I'm not doing bad at all. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Weight Loss challenges

OK.  Let's take a moment and talk about the strategy and philosophy of weight loss challenges.  Most challenges are structured to reward those who lose the highest percentage of their body weight over a fixed period of time.  Fairly simple.  To calculate the percentage of weight lost you divide the total pounds lost by the participant by their starting weight.  The idea of using the percentage of weight lost is it tends to be easier for larger individuals to lose more pounds.

So with this in mind, I have a weigh in today for a 10 week weight loss challenge - The Biggest Winner, which is part of the Las Vegas Corporate Challenge.  I am actually the captain of a 5 person team representing my company.  It is our combined percentage of weight loss, when measured against the other teams, that will determine or placement at the conclusion of the challenge.  To prepare for this weigh in, I have been eating lots and today am adding in salty foods and drinking lots as well.  By my estimation I will have added about 10 lbs. over where I was last week.  Is it wrong to "stack" the deck like this for a challenge?  Personally I think it falls into the realm of game play and have no doubt that other teams are doing exactly the same thing.

Right now I'm predicting my weigh in weight to be about 440 435 lbs.  I will consider my competition to be a success if I can get below 400 over the next 10 weeks.  Towards this end I will be tacking my progress here.  Every Tuesday morning, I will weigh in and track how much weight I have lost both in lbs. and percentage of initial.  My secret weapon will be that I am going to start walking and riding like a mad man.  I have the Tour De Cure coming up next month and the 5k in May.  All that training and exercise, along with maintain a strict accounting and adherence to a total calorie intake of 2000 per day will get me where I want to go.

By the Way, If you haven't done so, could you please support my effort to stop diabetes by donating to my Tour De Cure ride? Every little bit helps!

Thank you.